A Publisher’s Thoughts on Book Reviews

As a publisher and avid reader, I read SO many book reviews – both of our books and of others. Reviews that are done by average readers such as those on Goodreads or bookstores; reviews written for professional reviewing entities like Kirkus or Booklist; and reviews that bloggers write on their blogs.

Thankfully, the vast majority are well written and thought out – expounding on the reader’s thoughts about the book, the characters, the plot, the writing, etc. Intelligently discussing what they liked and didn’t like. In the end, they apply a number or star rating which is a usually a requisite of the site which they are posting to, like Goodreads or Amazon.

However, there are those reviews that are the opposite of this, written by people who love to hate. They seem to spend a lot of time thinking up fancy words to describe how bad the book is, what a horrible person the author must be, or how they can’t believe the hype around the book because it is simply the worst piece of literary torture they’ve subjected themselves to.

Then, and even worse than the aforementioned type, there are those who quickly whip up a very negative review of the book wherein they describe aspects of the book that weren’t even there: wrong character’s names; or ideas that are misrepresented; all wrapped up in a misspelled mess of a paragraph. It makes me think that perhaps they didn’t really read the book or read it so quickly that the essence of the book didn’t really seep in.

Personally speaking, I want to read the first type. But, I don’t want to read only positive reviews, I read the negative ones too, because it helps me decide if I should buy the book for myself and in the case of our own books, it helps me and the author make better books. I honestly like reading other people’s opinions, even if they don’t agree with my own. I find these reviews so terribly helpful in so many ways and I only wish everyone would do this. It helps make the book world a better place – truly.

The last two types of reviews do nothing to help authors, other readers or publishers. All they do is show that some people are capable of spewing forth such vitriol that it makes the rest of us wonder what those people are like off-line.

In an era when we are so exposed to everyone’s thoughts, we are subjected to so much negativity and hate. It drags us all down. I am in no way suggesting that we all live in one happy bubble where everyone and everything is GREAT. Like most regular folk, I am suggesting that we remember that our online presence is just as important as how we act offline. That the words we use and the way we use them affect people – deeply. Sure, I tell our authors to grow a thick skin and just deal with the bad reviews. But personal attacks on a writer are just so unnecessary, and poorly written, hateful reviews affect writers just as much as if you had walked up to them in real life and told them that they suck.

I think it’s easy to pick on people that we perceive as untouchable: actors, artists, singers, writers, politicians, etc. All these people are doing their jobs and in most cases, trying their best. Sure, we know that doing this job means we open ourselves up to public criticism, but unless we have done something truly heinous, we are looking for praise and constructive criticism. Just like people who are doing jobs that are seemingly more mundane like working in a bank, writing marketing campaigns or building roads.

Today, I read a great Facebook post from author, Molly Ringle which actually inspired this blog post. In it she declares today to be Good Karma on Goodreads Day. Here’s the text from her post:

I’m declaring it Good Karma on Goodreads day! (Or Amazon, if you don’t have a Goodreads account.) What you must do: go to Goodreads/Amazon and click “like” on a few POSITIVE, decently written reviews. They don’t have to be for my books–though of course that’d be awesome. They can be for any books that interest you or that you’ve enjoyed.
The more “likes” a review has on Goodreads and Amazon, the higher it gets placed, so more people see it. So please, let’s boost the nice and useful things that are said out there, to counter the mean snark!
Feel free to share this post if you think your friends might like to do this too. Maybe we can make it a weekly thing. The internet needs more nice.
 

I would suggest that you like the reviews that you truly do like – and don’t be disingenuous (not that Molly is suggesting that either). Do what feels right and good and help spread good feelings. Because we all know what karma does when it comes around.

Cheers…

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New Release: Amanda in Alberta by Darlene Foster

Please join us in congratulating Darlene Foster on her fourth book! Darlene is an avid traveller and translates her own adventures into those of a fictional twelve year old girl who tends to find herself wrapped up in mysteries and adventure as she travels the world with her best friend, Leah.

In the most recent book in the series, Amanda is at home in Alberta and Leah has joined her from England. The two girls are having a great time seeing all that Alberta has to offer: the Calgary Stampede, the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the badlands and Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a strange mark on it, she’s not sure what to do with it, however, everyone seems to want it – including one ornery cowboy!DarleneFoster

Great for readers young and old, join Amanda and Leah as they explore Alberta, all while trying to keep a few steps ahead of all those trying to take it from her. And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the book!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Amanda in Alberta by Darlene Foster

Amanda in Alberta

by Darlene Foster

Giveaway ends August 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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New Release: Underworld’s Daughter by Molly Ringle

We are very pleased to present the next book in The Chrysomelia Stories: Underworld’s Daughter. These stories centre around Sophie & Adrian, or Persephone & Hades, as they once were in a previous life. It all started when a stranger walks into Sophie’s dorm room on her first day at university and whisks her away to a spirit realm. While there, she is tricked into eating some pomegranate and shortly after, memories of previous lives come flooding back.

Underworld’s Daughter picks up where Persephone’s Orchard left off, incorporating Sophie’s & Adrian’s friends – both current and in Ancient Greece. Ringle’s world-building is just fantastic and the dynamics between her characters is fascinating. If you haven’t read Persephone’s Orchard yet, you’re in luck because we’ve put it on sale for 99 cents for a limited time. And if you’re interested in winning the books plus some great swag, be sure to enter the give-away.

Happy reading!

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Bestselling Romance Across The Hall is On Sale!

9781926760476One of our bestselling books is Across The Hall by NM Facile originally published in 2010. With almost 6,000 reviews on Goodreads, this college romance originally started out as Twilight fan fiction. It’s achieved its own success – and is still widely read all over the world.

This week, the very popular ebook notification service, BookBub will be featuring Across The Hall. As a result, this book will be on sale at Amazon, B&N, Kobo & the iBookstore for only $0.99 from June 24 to July 1. And while you’re visiting their site, be sure to sign up for their free daily emails. If you love reading, you will be ecstatic about the great deals you can get on bestselling novels across all genres.

Pick it up while you can, and if you liked it, you might also like Cure For Pain, Facile’s other book which follows an innocent girl as she moves to the big city, only to fall for a bad boy who’s trying to do better.

Happy Reading!

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New Release: The First Law of Love by Abbie Williams

9781771680226Abbie Williams is one talented and driven romance author. She creates engaging characters and storylines and sets it everything in the most charming places right in the United States.

As the weather warms up, we’re very proud to release Abbie’s seventh book and the sixth in the Shore Leave Cafe series – The First Law of Love.

Tish Gordon has always been the most stubborn of her sisters, and has worked tirelessly to earn a law degree from her father’s alma mater in Chicago. Although the Shore Leave Café will always be in her heart, Tish, now twenty-five, wants nothing short of a high-profile career in corporate law in the glamorous city where she was born.

There is just one minor roadblock – a summer internship as a favor to her future boss. Location: Jalesville, Montana, where a fast-talking company is snapping up acreage and threatening local business. Tish heads west, determined to accomplish the internship and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But Montana proves to have distractions of its own, catching her quite off guard. Particularly in the form of sexy musician/cowboy Case Spicer, who once told Tish she was the love of his life.

As the summer heats to a boiling point, Tish must choose between the life she thinks she wants and the life that might just prove to be what she needs.

It’s a perfect beach read, and we think the best so far by this AbbieWilliamstalented writer. If you’re looking for a new series to fall in love with, start with Summer at the Shore Leave Cafe – you won’t be disappointed…

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Giveaway: The Chrysomelia Stories Books and Swag!

Persephone-grand-prizeIf you like Greek mythology, New Adult romance and a touch of the paranormal, you’ll love The Chrysomelia Stories by Molly Ringle. The story centers around Sophie Darrow - a normal college freshman – who is abducted by a man she’s never met before. What follows is her realization that she is no other than Persephone and her kidnapper – Hades himself.

As we approach the official release date (June 27) of Underworld’s Daughter, the second book in the series after the very successful and well received Persephone’s Orchard, we are very happy to offer an awesome giveaway!

The lucky winner will be receiving:

  1. Signed copies of both books
  2. 1 oz Persephone’s Pomegranate Blend looseleaf tea by Dryad Tea (black tea with pomegranate and vanilla)
  3. 25 plantable paper mini-flowers with wildflower seeds, by PaperSprouts (on Etsy)
  4. $5 Starbucks card
  5. Pegasus Greek coin pendant necklace from PartsForYou (on Etsy)

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter by following the link below and hopefully you’ll win. If not, never fear, we’re going to be offering more awesome giveaways like this one in the coming weeks.

And if you haven’t read Persephone’s Orchard yet, there’s good news there too since we are offering the ebook on all major bookstores for only 99 cents for a limited time starting on June 27!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal: The First Law of Love by Abbie Williams

9781771680226This summer we have so many good books coming out. We’re very pleased to present the cover for the sixth book in the Shore Leave Cafe series – The First Law of Love. If you love romance, small towns, strong women and of course – hot men, you’ll absolutely love Williams’ series.

Based on a family of women who run a cafe on a lake in a small Minnesota town, these books revolve around the different members of the clan and their challenges and their triumphs.

Coming in July, be the first to check out The First Law of Love.

Tish Gordon has always been the most stubborn of her sisters, and has worked tirelessly to earn a law degree from her father’s alma mater in Chicago. Although the Shore Leave Café will always be in her heart, Tish, now twenty-five, wants nothing short of a high-profile career in corporate law in the glamorous city where she was born. 
There is just one minor roadblock – a summer internship as a favor to her future boss. Location: Jalesville, Montana, where a fast-talking company is snapping up acreage and threatening local business. Tish heads west, determined to accomplish the internship and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But Montana proves to have distractions of its own, catching her quite off guard. Particularly in the form of sexy musician/cowboy Case Spicer, who once told Tish she was the love of his life. 
As the summer heats to a boiling point, Tish must choose between the life she thinks she wants and the life that might just prove to be what she needs.
ISBN: 978-1-7768-022-6
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